One Year Later: Lessons Learned at JBFC

October 13, 2014 7:59 pm Published by

Saturday, October 4th, marked my one-year anniversary at JBFC in Kitongo, Tanzania. As anniversaries often are, the day was one of reflection and a sense of accomplishment. I’ve learned so much from the kids and staff of JBFC, yet I know I still have so much still to learn.

 I’ve learned you can never have your hair braided too much, or hear the little girls sing “Let it Go” from Frozen (if you haven’t seen the JBFC girls singing Let it Go… click on over to Facebook too many times (ok, maybe there is a limit to that).

 Kids all over the world will pretend that they can’t hear you when you tell them it’s time to get out of the pool.

 I have learned just enough Swahili to continually cause confusion and fits of laughter for Kanaeli, our campus shopper and driver.

I finally learned how to light a gas stove without screaming. Hint: buy a long handled lighter. (I’d say I learned to cook here, but that would be a bold-faced lie.)

I learned how to slaughter a chicken. Though, next time I’ll work on the not letting it run around “like a chicken with its head cut off” part.

 I have learned how to have patience, whether it is in communicating in Swahili, sitting in traffic or waiting for the extremely slooooooow Internet to load.

It is actually easier to climb Kilimanjaro the second time, especially when you are raising money to give 300 Tanzanian children windows for their school library.

The most impressive thing to my family and friends at home is most likely my newfound ability to live with lizards, bugs and DOGS! I still run away from the geese and donkeys though…

Most recently, I learned that graduates don’t just walk into graduation, but do a fancy little line dancing walky-thingy-majig.

But seriously, the best thing I’ve learned is how very lucky I have been in my life. Growing up, I had parents that drove me to school, picked me up and had dinner on the table for me every day. (Except for that one time they both forgot me at school!) I never had to work off a scholarship everyday after class, before going home to cook dinner for my siblings.

I have met volunteers at JBFC that will be lifelong friends. The international staff of JBFC has become family. The staff and especially the kids of JBFC will live in my heart forever.

Melinda Wulf is celebrating her one-year anniversary as JBFC’s Administrative Director.

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This post was written by Mainsprings